SABR Youth Soccer Player Development

Pic - youth ssg 1 shutterstock_195967397 copy.jpegSABR was an early adopter of the US Youth Soccer Small-Sided Games philosophy for player development in both our youth Recreation and Team Boca Select Programs. The Small-Sided Games approach adapts proven child development concepts and educational practices to soccer.

These Age Appropriate methods teach the skills and complexity of the game to children that match their distinct stages of cognitive, physical, and social development. Our children learn and play better over a season and the years – and they have more success and fun.

We teach Small-Sided Games and Age Appropriate methods to all of our coaches and trainers in our Under-5 through Under-12 Divisions.

Before every season, we hold training clinics for these coaches and trainers that are taught by a leading U.S. Soccer Federation National Instructor. These clinics include classroom instruction as well as outdoor on-the-field demonstration and participation. We also have developed a club-wide curriculum and issue lesson plans for the Under-5 – Under-12 Divisions as well as US Youth Soccer practice activities guidebooks to supplement our materials.

In our Under-5 and Under-6 age groups, we have developed a staff of youth trainers from our area colleges and high schools. Most of these trainers remain on staff for many years, and are more experienced to deal with our 4 and 5 year olds than are first-time parent volunteers. We do solicit and develop Team Parents at these ages to introduce and prepare them to be volunteer coaches beginning in our Under-7 and Under-8 divisions.

Pic - youth soccer younger 1 shutterstock_34341520 copy.jpegFrom Under-5 through Under-8, our registration software creates rosters randomly. Trainers and coaches run the games, and share players as necessary so that all the children play as field players all the time. We do not keep players back as defenders, and we do not play with goalkeepers at this age. We want the children to attack and score as much as possible. We do not keep scores, results or standings. All participants in our Recreational Boys and Girls Programs receive a participation trophy following their last regular season game.

In our Under-9 and older Divisions, our registration software creates balanced teams based on skill evaluations from the previous season across the entire age group. Our FIFA Certified youth and adult Referees manage the games according to FIFA and our club rules modified for youth play. During regular league play, we keep standings. Games ending in a tie will remain tied. SABR provides trophies for each member of the regular season conference champion teams in each age group division.

Pic - youth soccer older 1 shutterstock_394428136 copy.jpegALL TEAMS in our Under-9 and older Divisions play in our post-season Tom Cherubin Cup Tournament. Season standings are only used for bracketing in the tournament. Not surprisingly – and in large part due to our training methods and the dedication of our coaches – season standings have very little impact on the tournament results. By the end of the regular season, the teams that we balanced when we created the rosters end up playing very competitively in the tournament.

We have put the children first since the earliest days of our club, when parents who wanted their children to simply learn the game, play and have fun with their friends founded SABR. We've never varied from that approach, and we're proud that so many of our players have returned to the club as parents and coaches for their children.